The Telerik OpenAccess ORM Visual Designer provides toolbox items that one can use to update and fine tune the persistence model and how the entity classes will behave.
Inheritance - like other objects, the mapped entity classes can be used in inheritance scenarios and can be derived from other classes. The Telerik OpenAccess ORM provides the power of inheritance to the data access layer. Classes in an inheritance hierarchy can be mapped to the same table (flat mapping) or to different tables (vertical mapping and horizontal mapping), or a combination of two strategies (mixed flat and vertical). The Telerik OpenAccess ORM Visual Designer allows developers to define the inheritance using the Inheritance tool from the Toolbox | Class Diagrams box. Just select the inheriting class, then drag the Inheritance tool on the Visual Designer surface and select the base class.
Additional details can be tuned can be applied under the Mapping Details Editor in the Inheritance Mapping view. It exposes options for setting the Discriminator column, Discriminator value as well as the Inheritance Strategy.
MetaClass – dragging a MetaClass item onto the design surface will add a new class to the data model. Once dropped, the Map Table to Class dialog appears which gives the ability for selection to choose a table to which the new class should be mapped.
MetaProperty - dragging a MetaProperty item onto an existing class in the data model will add a new property for that class. The MetaProperty item is planned for the Forward Mapping support using the Visual Designer. Currently a new property is being added within the class which causes a validation warning. Validation warning is displayed because the added member is not mapped to a column.
Association – Associations between entity classes resembles the relationships between the tables in a database. Associations can be created between entity classes by using the Association tool. You must select a parent class with the tool, then drag and connect it to the the child class then the “Association Define Relationship” dialog pops out and one can create the association. The parent class(Owner End) is the entity class that contains the primary key and the child class(Target End) is the entity class that contains the foreign-key.
Comments and Comment Link – The Comment item gives the ability for defining a comment inside the domain model. The dropped comment box can be associated to an existing entity class by using the Comment Link association.
This is only one of the many new features shipped with Q1 release. We will present every and each of them in a series of blog posts to come really soon.